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BHSU is one of two state universities to offer new education paraprofessional degree - Top  

Beginning this fall, BHSU will be one of two state universities to offer a new associate degree in paraprofessional education. The South Dakota Board of Regents recently approved the new associate degree for BHSU and Northern State University to help South Dakota’s teacher aides comply with federal educational requirements.

The 64-credit associate of science degree in paraprofessional education can be completed in two years. The degree focuses on general education and more specific courses needed by classroom paraprofessionals.

“This new degree offers a sound grounding in the liberal arts, along with specialized coursework essential for those assisting in K-12 classrooms,” said Regents' President Harvey C. Jewett.

Curriculum includes 21 credit hours in general education-required courses in the areas of mathematics, science, composition, psychology, speech, and computer technology. Other courses prepare the paraprofessional in educational psychology, teaching strategies, mathematics, children’s literature, classroom instructional management, and special education. An additional 18-19 elective credits complete the degree requirements.

When Congress reauthorized federal education law late last year, it required paraprofessionals who assist teachers in classrooms supported by federal Title I dollars to complete at least two years of postsecondary study, obtain an associate’s degree, or demonstrate knowledge of and the ability to assist with instruction in reading, writing, and mathematics. These federal requirements apply to any new aides hired for the 2002-03 school term, and will apply to all eligible paraprofessionals by the end of the 2005-06 term. There are an estimated 1,700 K-12 education paraprofessionals employed in South Dakota. 

There is still time to register for fall classes at BHSU. Classes begin Sept. 4. Students who have not pre-registered for classes may do so Sept. 3 from 8 a.m. to noon at the David B. Miller Yellow Jacket Student Union.

Most of the courses are also available through distance delivery, including the state’s Digital Dakota Network, Internet, or correspondence. To view and register for current undergraduate distance education courses offered through the Regents’ Electronic University Consortium of South Dakota see <>.

Degree Details

Summary of the Paraprofessional Associate Degree

 General Education Courses

(These courses are available at BHSU (check with Extended Services: 605-642-6771) as well as through the EUC by distance, Internet, or correspondence and would apply as general education requirements for four-year baccalaureate degree programs. (Go to to checkout Internet courses)

ENGL 101, Composition I                                                          3 credits
ENGL 201, Composition II                                                         3 credits
MATH 101 or 102, Intermediate or College Algebra                   3 credits
MIS or CIS 105, Introduction to Computers                                3 credits
Natural Science: BIOL 101/102, CHEM 106/107,
                          Or PHYS 101/102                                            3 credits
SPCM 101, Fundamentals of Speech                                           3 credits
PSYC 101/101A, General Psychology                                         3 credits

                                                                                                  21 credits  

Paraprofessional Education Courses

(These courses would be provided by Black Hills State University and Northern State University by DDN, Internet, or at a site through continuing education on a two-year rotating schedule.)

EDFN 200, Classroom Instructional Management/
                   Field Experience                                                       3 credits 
EDFN 210, Issues and Strategies in Teaching Reading                 2 credits 
EDFN 475, Human Relations                                                      3 credits
EPSY 302, Educational Psychology                                             3 credits
EPSY 327, Child/Adolescent Development                                  3 credits
LIBM 205, Children’s Literature                                                  2 credits
MATH 341, Math Concepts for Teachers I                                 3 credits
SPED 300, Students with Exceptionalities                                    3 credits

                                                                                           21-22 credits

Elective Courses

Electives                                                                             21-22 credits                                                                                
Suitable electives could include courses in art, early childhood, education, English, foreign language, language arts, mathematics, music, psychology, science, sociology, special education, and social sciences.

Total for program                                                                     64 credits

For more information, contact Dean Meyers

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